Paramount Pictures | Release Date: August 7, 1998
1.6
USER SCORE
Overwhelming dislike based on 106 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
13
Mixed:
10
Negative:
83
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10
TarintinoCodFanFeb 15, 2012
Spectacular performance from Nicholas Cage. This film was a real treat and a hidden gem. I thoroughly enjoyed each layer of the story unfolding. Great film.
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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10
Tss5078Feb 24, 2013
This is your classic, who done it, murder mystery by the modern day master of suspense, Brian De Palma. A lot of other people who reviewed this movie didn't like it, because it moves slowly and then shows a lot of flashbacks of the crimeThis is your classic, who done it, murder mystery by the modern day master of suspense, Brian De Palma. A lot of other people who reviewed this movie didn't like it, because it moves slowly and then shows a lot of flashbacks of the crime through many different witnesses eyes, similar to the TV show Cold Case. Personally, I think this just adds to the suspense and helps build to an expected climax, which had unexpected results for everyone involved. Nicholas Cage plays Rick Santoro perfectly, its a role that at the time seemed as thou it could be a bit of a stretch for him, but as always he is terrific. This film is defiantly a throwback, that many people didn't seem to go for, but I think it's something different and well worth seeing. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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7
pgmarkDec 16, 2010
Good movie. I like the way the camera work and/or directing was done.. flowing in the non-stop filming like that Orson Wells first breakthrough. I agree the first hour was much better and the ending got too much of the Hollywood treatment butGood movie. I like the way the camera work and/or directing was done.. flowing in the non-stop filming like that Orson Wells first breakthrough. I agree the first hour was much better and the ending got too much of the Hollywood treatment but I still liked it. Strong performance by NC saved it for me as well. Unique film at the time due to that never ending scene flow used. Sorry I don't know all the techincal lingo.. just an average fan here lol. Worth seeing! Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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9
SpangleOct 2, 2016
I would like to motion for a critical reappraisal of Brian De Palma's absolutely terrific Snake Eyes. Terrifically thrilling, Snake Eyes features Nicolas Cage as Richard Santoro, a charismatic and corrupt Atlantic City police detective whoI would like to motion for a critical reappraisal of Brian De Palma's absolutely terrific Snake Eyes. Terrifically thrilling, Snake Eyes features Nicolas Cage as Richard Santoro, a charismatic and corrupt Atlantic City police detective who witnesses an assassination during a boxing match. Supported by a strong supporting performance from Gary Sinise as Commander Kevin Dunne, Snake Eyes is a spellbinding conspiracy thriller that is terrific to the very last drop.

Featuring all of De Palma's major trademarks, Snake Eyes is a showcase for his lovely camera work. The tracking shot at the very beginning of Richard Santoro walking through the arena is terrific, but what makes it all the much better is De Palma's repeated use of split-screen later on in the film that showcases how perception changes everything. For Santoro, he believed he knew what had occurred during the shooting. He thought he knew the players. It was only through speaking to Julia Costello (Carla Gugino) and Lincoln Tyler (Stan Shaw) that his eyes were opened. De Palma does a terrific job of using the split-screen to showcase the different perspectives a situation can have and how that can lead to false conclusions if you do not have both takes on a situation.

The camera work also comes into play when Julia is going up to a man's room and the camera pans through an aerial shot of the rooms on the floor. While it may not add much to the overall film, it was incredibly stylish and highlighted a very important element to the story: it was not about the assassination. In every room, people were either celebrating something completely unrelated or changing the channel from the news. For De Palma, this essentially serves to refocus the audience on what actually matters: the characters. Having read the critical reception, I was particularly struck by a quote from De Palma himself in which he stated, "There's a lot of discussion in Snake Eyes about why do we reveal who did it so soon. Well the problem is that it isn't about who did it. It's a mystery about a relationship, two people, and how finding that out affects their relationship... Those kind of procedural movies are extremely boring..." In essence, for me, many critics wind up missing the point of the film. While I loved it a conspiracy thriller and thought it was thoroughly captivating in this regard, De Palma's aim was to showcase the fracturing of the friendship between Santoro and Dunne when Santoro finds out the truth about his long time friend. Thus, the sequence in which he shows everyone ignoring the news of the assassination, it becomes clear that De Palma is trying to nudge the audience away from the murder mystery aspect and onto the character study.

As a character study, the film is equally riveting. Richard Santoro's reaction to the news, as relayed to him by Julia Costello who was revealing the conspiracy to the assassinated Secretary of Defense when the killing happened, is perfection. Cage brings the emotions to life and wears them on his sleeve in this sequence as you can see Santoro's heartbreak and, at first, deny that this is what occurred. His dedication to his friend is being tested, but he knows that it is true. When he finds video evidence confirming what she had told him was true, his heartbreak over losing his childhood friend is shattering and tremendous cinema. This is truly where the writing from David Koepp excels, as he manages to develop his characters so well, while also subtly keeping them within their characters even if its seems out-of-character, if that makes sense. For Santoro, he is established as being an adulterer and a corrupt cop. Yet, he wants to be mayor, which is why he wants to solve this case. For him, he may put on a facade of being charismatic and magnanimous, but deep down, he wants more than his current lot in life. For Kevin Dunne, he may seem like the "goody two shoes", but instead he is ruthless and manipulative, willing to do anything to get ahead. These characters truly come to life thanks to the writing from Koepp.

Another element captured incredibly well by De Palma is the chaos. This element is really put on display during the assassination, which is a chaotic, thrilling, and hectic sequence that is equally hectically shot. You can hardly tell what is going on and can feel your own heart beating as this sequence unfolds. This feeling is sustained throughout the film, in large part due to the free flowing camera of De Palma. It truly captures the significant amount of moving parts within the film and the chaos, as the long tracking shots emphasize. In particular, the opening tracking shot involves numerous different moments that could be a scene all on their own. Santoro runs into many different people and the camera struggles to keep up with him.
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